KIND volunteers have helped rid a Gourock beauty spot of the scourge of discarded and washed-up waste.

A 79-strong squad — including several young environmentalists — got stuck in to the debris at Lunderston Bay at the weekend and collected a whopping 40 kilos of rubbish.

All of the plastic collected with be recycled into a brand new bench for visitors to enjoy.

Cameron Yates, of major recycling company British Polythene Industries (BPI), based in Greenock, says the seat will be an example of what can be done if people choose to find new uses for objects instead of simply dumping them.

He said: "Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park organised the clean-up and we were very happy to get involved and to lend a hand.

"The plastic is at our recycling facility in Dumfries now, where it will be moulded into a recycled bench which we will gift to Lunderston Bay."

BPI is part of a huge wave of campaigning to stop the kind of illegal dumping that is harming and killing marine life.

The firm is one of Europe's largest recyclers, transforming 68,000 tons of plastic every year.

Park ranger Michael Corrigan said that cotton buds, rope and items dumped from fishing boats were among the mass of rubbish collected at Lunderston on Saturday.

Mr Corrigan said: "We collected 38 bags of rubbish, weighing 40 kilos in total.

"It was mostly small stuff like cotton buds, rope, plastic bottles, fishing wire.

"It had all been washed up onto the beach.

"We've had stuff from trawlers as well, netting and plastic gloves that could only have come from fishing boats because they are a specific type.

"We've contacted the port authority and they have taken action to remind trawlermen that dumping is a complete no-no."

Mr Corrigan said that the curse of littering the sea is likely to plague our planet for generations to come, but he is encouraged by the recent raising of the profile of the scale of the problem.

He said: "The issue has been there for many years. People have just been blind to it.

"It may take generations to resolve the issue because such a vast amount has been dumped.

"People don't have to dump at all, recycling can be done in many different ways.

"It can be done, it should be done. It's about changing mindsets."